Instructions to authors

Scope and policy

Historia publishes peer-reviewed articles in English and Afrikaans on aspects of Southern African history, methodology and historiography, as well as reviews and review articles.

The intended readership is historians as well as scholars from other disciplines that are interested in grappling with the past, or the meaning of change in their areas of expertise.

Review Process

Historia employs a “double blind” reviewing process. In the case of contradictory reports, the article will be sent to a third reader as arbiter. At least three months should be allowed for the review process to be completed. Where submissions are accepted provisionally, it is expected that authors will return their revised versions within six weeks to the editor-in-chief. Page proofs are always given to authors who are responsible for checking them carefully. Corrected page proofs are to be returned to the editor-in-chief within a week of receipt. Authors will receive one copy of the journal free of charge. No correspondence will be entered into about submissions that were turned down by the reviewers. As Historia is accredited the cost of articles by authors attached to South African universities can be recouped from the earnings of research outputs by means of page fees. Authors attached to South African universities will therefore be requested to subsidise their articles. Generally the authors’ institutions pay such page fees.

 Manuscript submission

Prospective articles should be submitted electronically in MSWord® to the editor-in-chief Dr Jared McDonald

 Format and layout

All articles should be submitted in MSWord®. Authors who submit articles for consideration to Historia must declare in writing that the article had not been published elsewhere OR has not been submitted to another journal for possible publication. All submissions should be either in Afrikaans or English and should be properly edited for language usage and adhere to the Historia guidelines for author. Poorly written, plagiarised articles and those that do not adhere to the focus of Historia will be rejected at “desktop” level. Submissions should be in Cambria, 12 pt size font. Manuscripts should preferably not exceed eight thousand words – footnotes excluded. Footnotes should be printed in Cambria, 11 pt size font, with 1.15 spacing used throughout.


The title of an article must preferably not exceed fifteen words and must not be printed in capital letters.

Résumé of authors

The first footnote should come after the name of the author, should be marked by an asterisk and include a brief curriculum vitae (no more than 60 words) of the author/s, stating his/her/their current position, institutional connection and most recent/current/forthcoming projects/publications.


A short abstract of the article in both Afrikaans (opsomming) and English (not exceeding 200 words), as well as up to 10 key words (sleutelwoorde) should accompany submitted articles. International scholars will receive editorial assistance in the translation of the abstract and keywords into Afrikaans.


Quotations should be indicated by double inverted commas, with single inverted commas for quotations within the main one. Quotations of more than forty words must be indented on both sides and written without inverted commas.


– Illustrations (including photographs, sketches, tables and maps) should be numbered consecutively (for example: Table 1 or Figure 1.

– The appropriate positioning of illustrations should be indicated in the text.

– Illustrations should be provided with appropriate captions.

– All illustrations must be submitted in digital format as a .JPEG file and must be no smaller than A5 in size and should have a resolution of at least 300dpi.

– It is the responsibility of the author to secure permission to reproduce copyrighted illustrations.

References and footnotes

Footnote references should be placed at the bottom of each page. Footnotes should be numbered sequentially throughout the article in Arabic numerals. Works/authors referred to in the text should be cited in full in the footnotes. The first letter of most words in titles of books, articles, chapters, theses, dissertations, papers and so forth should be capitalised (except articles and prepositions). Only the first letter of the surname of an author should be capitalised, not the whole surname.

An article in a journal

List the author’s initials and name, the title of the article in double quotation marks (comma outside the quotation marks), the name of the journal in italics, where applicable, the volume number (without the word “vol.”) in Arabic numerals, the number or issue in Arabic numerals, the month and year of the issue and the page number(s).


G. Vahed, “Control of African Leisure Time in Durban in the 1930s”, Journal of Natal and Zulu History, 18, 1998, pp 67 – 105.

G.C. de Wet, “Die VOC-nedersetting aan die Kaap die Goeie Hoop se Betrokkenheid by die Lande van die Westelike Indiese Oseaan, 1652 – 1700”, Historia, 47, 1, Mei 2002, pp 219 – 246.

J.E. Fair and R.J. Astroff, “Constructing Race and Violence”, Journal of Communication, 41, 4, 1991, p 4.

A book

List the author’s initials and surname, the title of the book in italics (without a following comma), the volume number where relevant (in Arabic numerals), the publisher, followed by a comma, the place of publication, followed by a comma, and the year of publication, all in parentheses, followed by the page number(s).


C. van Onselen, Studies in the Social and Economic History of the Witwatersrand, 1886 – 1914, Volume 2, New Nineveh (Longman, London, 1982), p 113.

S. Field (ed.), Lost Communities, Living Memories. Remembering Forced Removals in Cape Town (David Philip, Cape Town, 2001), p 75.

A. Krog (red.) Met Woorde soos met Kerse. Inheemse Verse Uitgesoek en Vertaal deur … (Kwela Boeke, Kaapstad, 2002), p 94.

The Archives Year Book of South African History

J.A. Mouton, “Generaal Piet Joubert in die Transvaalse Geskiedenis”, Archives Year Book for South African History, 20, I (The Government Printer, Parow, 1957), pp 20 – 21.

A chapter in a book

List the author’s initials and surname, the chapter heading in double quotation marks, followed by a comma, followed by in, the initials and name(s) of the editor(s), followed by a comma, the title of the book in italics, then the publisher, followed by a comma, the place of publication, followed by a comma, and the year of publication, all in parentheses, followed by the page number(s):


I. Phimister and C. van Onselen, “The Labour Movement in Zimbabwe: 1900 – 1945”, in B. Raftopoulos and I. Phimister (eds), Keep On Knocking: A History of the Labour Movement in Zimbabwe 1900 – 1997 (Baobab Books, Harare, 1997).

M. Morris and D. Hindson, “The Disintergration of Apartheid, from Violence to Reconstruction”, in G. Moss and I. Obery, (eds), South African Review VI. From ‘Red Friday’ to Codesa (Ravan Press, Johannesburg, 1992), pp 152 – 170.

An unpublished post-graduate dissertation / thesis

List the initials and surname of the author, followed by the title of the dissertation (not italicised) in double quotation marks, full stop inside the quotation marks. Then list the qualification, the university it was obtained from and the year the degree was conferred.


C. Singh, “Adams College: The Rise and Fall of a Great Institution”, BA Honours, University of Durban-Westville, 1987, pp 2 – 4.

D.M. Calderwood, “Native Housing in South Africa”, DArch thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1953, p 202.

D. Hemson, “Class, Consciousness and Migrant Workers: Dockworkers of Durban”, PhD thesis, University of Warwick, 1985.

An unpublished paper

List the initials and name of the presenter, followed by the title of the paper (not italicised) in double quotation marks (full stop inside the quotation marks). Then state the name of the conference, the date and the place where it was held.


R. Pfister, “Violence during South Africa’s Political Transition (1990 – 1994)”, Unpublished paper presented at the 16th Biennial Conference of the South African Historical Society on Land, Violence and Social Problems in the History of Southern Africa, 6 – 9 July 1997, University of Pretoria, p 11.

Archival references

Write the name of the archive out in full in the first citation, followed by the abbreviation announced by the word “hereafter” in parentheses. The name of the archive should be followed by a colon, followed by the source, series and further details of the document. Letters should be cited by separating the sender and recipient with an en-dash. Dates should be written out as day, month (in full, not in numerals) and year.


Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Argiefbewaarplek, Kaapstad (hierna WKPA): A2643 A.J. Böesekenversameling (ongeorden): A.J. Böeseken, “Adriaan Cornelis Böeseken, 13 Mei 1871 – 19 September 1942”, p 1.

National Archives of South Africa (hereafter NASA), Transvaal Archives (hereafter TAB): Joubert Papers, Uitgaande Stukke, II, A/1-A/3, (Archives vol. 17), P. Joubert – his son, J.S. Joubert, 18 April 1893.

An interview

Provide as many details as possible, e.g. name of interviewee, date and place of interview, nature of survey and sample described in first interview cited.

A source accessed on the internet

Provide as many details as possible about the article or document, followed by the URL and the date the site was accessed.

Shortened references

Where sources are referred to more than once, a shortened version of the title may be used after the first reference.

For example:

Van Onselen, Studies in the Social and Economic History, vol 2, p 113.

Hellmann and Abrahams (eds), Handbook on Race Relations in South Africa, pp 253 – 254.

Mouton, “Generaal Piet Joubert in die Transvaalse Geskiedenis”, p 25.

Morris and Hindson, “The Disintegration of Apartheid,” p 152.

Singh, “Adams College”, p 35.

Pfister, “Violence during South Africa’s Political Transition”, p 11.

Abbreviations, measurements, numbers and dates

Abbreviations should be used sparingly and should be explained at the first occurrence.

Note: Use a full stop after (ed.) but not after (eds). Indien ‘n Afrikaanse titel in ‘n Afrikaanse artikel gelys word, word die punt wel behou: “red.”.

Per cent is preferred to %, unless used frequently or in tables.

Metric units are preferred except where historical accuracy demands otherwise.

Numbers below twenty should be expressed in words, unless frequently used.

When using Arabic numerals for four figure and larger numbers, the following formatting should be used: 4 500; 4 600 500; etc. Decades should be written without the apostrophe, thus ‘the 1990s’. In Afrikaans word die afkappingsteken wel gebruik: “die 1990’s”. Dates in the text should be written out in full, thus: 27 April 1994.

Please note the following: Do not use op. cit., cf., or ibid. in the footnotes at all

Reviews and Review Articles

Historia publishes reviews of books on the history of southern Africa. Reviews are usually solicited by the review editor, although unsolicited reviews will be considered provided they adhere to our guidelines and fall within the focus of the journal. Reviews of books dealing with countries outside of southern Africa should indicate the relevance of such books to historians of the region. All reviews are submitted to the editors and, if necessary, other referees before publication.

Reviews should normally be between 1000 and 1500 words in length and may include bibliographic and other references, although these should be kept to the minimum. Where such references occur, the same referencing system as for articles should be used. All quotations from the book must be followed by the exact page reference in brackets at the end of the quotation. Reviews are published with a short heading indicating the tenor of the review. This should be brief, not exceeding 6-8 words. Where a reviewer does not include a heading, one will be provided by the review editor. The heading should be followed by the bibliographic data of the book under review. This should be arranged in the order presented in this example:

Martin Legassick, The Struggle for the Eastern Cape, 1800-1854: Subjugation and the Roots of South African Democracy.

KMM Review Publishing Company, Johannesburg, 2010

152 pp

R189.95 [or: Price unknown]

Reviews may be written in either English or Afrikaans. The review should end with the name (without titles) and the institutional affiliation of the reviewer in italics. Reviewers without institutional affiliation or independent scholars should only include their town or city of residence. Reviews should be submitted as an email attachment in MSWord® to the review editor by the deadline agreed upon. If it becomes impossible to review the book in time, the review copy should be returned to the review editor. Book reviews do not qualify for subsidy purposes by the Department of Higher Education and Training.

A review article is longer and more detailed than a review. It should normally be 4000 to 6000 words in length and follow the usual technical requirements as for articles – see the guidelines above. A review article should place the book(s) under review within its historiographical context and should indicate the book(s) importance to the wider field. Review articles are commissioned by the review editor, and unsolicited review articles will normally not be considered for publication. All review articles are anonymously peer reviewed by experts in the field, and may qualify for subsidy purposes by the Department of Higher Education and Training by those attached to South African institutions of higher learning.